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Tudor unity. 1536.
vent the rise of any Welsh institution and the hitherto impregnable castle, useGlendower's projected Parliament, arch- less. Clearly, thought and power were no bishopric, and University disappeared ; and longer the exclusive possession of the arishis fall was followed by a harsh and re tocracy. pressive legislation ;—no Welshman was to
But the Welsh people waited long take office under government, or to defend The Great before entering into their heritage. his house, or to carry arms, or to sit in
They were ignorant and superjudgment on an Englishman.
stitious; the Reformation robbed them of The Lancastrians introduced no
their images and candles, but gave them order into Wales, while jealously
no new light. They followed the country guarding against the rise of a
gentlemen in the Great Civil War, in blind Welsh prince. Under the New loyalty to the king,—to be massacred on Monarchy, a Court was placed at Ludlow, Tewkesbury plain, or within the stormed
walls of Bristol. With the exception of to carry out the repressive policy that had remained a dead letter so long. In 1536, English Pembroke,—so important at more Henry VIII. drew Wales into a closer union
than one critical time during the war, with England,—the march lordships were
the whole of Wales transferred, to a king it formed into seven new counties, and the
did not know, with its characteristic enwhole of Wales was given a representation thusiasm, the loyalty that had made it in the English Parliament. The old re
suffer so much in the cause of its own pressive policy was carried out successfully, princes. Practical and business-like men but in a new spirit. The Welshman was
like Archbishop Williams, and impulsive
hot-heads like Sir John Owen, placed their to forget his language, and to become Anglicised, before becoming a true citizen
all at the service of the anointed king. Durof the state over the prosperity and the law ing the Commonwealth, the Puritans tried and the religion of which Henry VIII.
to do for Wales what the Protestant Represided. The Welsh leader ceased to be a
formers had done for England. They tried rebel, and became an English courtier. He
to force upon the people a religion they did took an honourable place in the history and
not like and could not understand. "The in the literature of England during the
parson, who had stepped into the place of Elizabethan golden age.
the priest, as the priest had stepped into the place of his heathen predecessor, owed
much of his influence to his supposed knowThe year 1536 is not the end of ledge of magic. The godly Puritan majorA new begin- the history of Wales; but it may general came, and the parson had to give
well be taken as the end of one place to preachers who wielded the sword great period. Before 1536, in medieval of God and of Gideon. But the echo which Wales, we get the history of the princes. Puritanism awakened in Wales was faint After 1536, in modern Wales, we get the and short. The mystic doctrines of Morgan history of the peasantry. Before 1536, we Llwyd,—with Cromwell frowning on every trace the decline and fall of the Welsh rul
page, and the intemperate preaching of ing aristocracy; after 1536, we trace the
Vavassour Powel, had no very wide inrise of the Welsh people. Glendower had fluence. Still, even in Wales, a small mindone something more wonderful than call-ority forsook their traditional fidelity to ing spirits from the vasty deep, he had
their superiors, and found what they called the people into power during a few declared to be perfect freedom in the sereventful years. The ploughman had be vice of their God. Wales, also, sent many come the hero of Owen's bards.
refugees to the wilds of America, which a Justification by faith, presupposing equal Welshman had first pointed out as a place ity among men, became the dominant 'the- of refuge for those who were persecuted for ological idea soon after 1536; the intro- truth's sake. But the great majority welduction of printing enabled the people to comed the Restoration, and Wales willingly enter into the pale of literature; the dis- fell back to its old quietness and supercovery of gunpowder made the coat of mail, stition.
In Wales, as in England, the conservative doctrines of nationalism. The Welsh Tudors had called into being the extension of the franchise in 1832, 1864,
power that was to destroy their and 1885, followed by a bitter war between policy. In 1588, Whitgift, -of all the landlord and tenant in many districts, Tudor ministers the strongest advocate of prevented the growth of a rebellious spirit absolute unity in politics and religion, - by placing upon every Welshman the rehad helped a Welsh clergyman to publish sponsibility of sharing in the government the whole of the Welsh Bible. It did not, of Britain. apparently, do anything to prevent the
The legislation of the last ten Anglicising of Wales. The higher classes, eSpecialn years has given the Welsh peasin due obedience to their sovereign, were
antry a large measure of control trying to forget their Welsh. Church ap- over their own affairs. The British Parliapointments soon became political, and the ment has specially legislated for Wales in bishops had no sympathy with the people two directions,—it has struck one blow at and no influence over thein. That Welsh the prevailing sin of drunkenness, and it Bible, after many days, however, became has satisfied the desire for education by the the inspiration of Welsh national conscious- Intermediate Education Act of 1889, folness, the beginning of a new era in Welsh lowed by the charter which makes the history and in Welsh literature. During dream of Owen Glendower,—a University the latter half of the eighteenth century it of Wales,—a reality. became the property of the whole people,
The County Council Act of 1888 Howell Harris roused the peasant from his Local has profoundly affected the hissloth and superstition, and Griffidd Jones'
tory of Wales, and its action will circulating schools brought education with be completed by the Parish Councils Act. in the reach of the poorest. The religious It has given the control of local governand literary revival did not directly affect ment to the men educated in institutions of the church or the ruling aristocracy; it their own creation,-the Sunday school drew the mass of the people out of the and the literary meeting. Even in days gone church, and added a difference of religion by, days of the disfranchisement of Wales, to the many differences already growing the genius of the Welsh people was a genbetween the people and their rulers.
ius for construction rather than for reWhile this great, but silent, re- bellion. Unaided by Government, and The rise of volution was changing the creed against the will of officials, it nas industry.
and the character of the Welsh- its own voluntary system of religion and man, the mineral wealth of Wales was education. The British Parliament seems beginning to affect the history of the now to be recognising the results of the country. At the end of the eighteenth labours of the creators of modern Wales, and century, the copper works of Swansea were to be giving it an opportunity,—by means a hundred years old, and the furnaces of of the extension of local government Merthyr Tydfil half as much, but the popu- which is characteristic of our age,-of still lation of Cardiff did not reach two thou further renewing its youth in the future. sand, and all the coal of Merthyr was car. The history of Wales is simple and easy. ried on donkeys' backs. Within less than Its mountains will always give it a history a century the population of Carditt became of its own. The history of its princes is 150,000, and Glamorgan and Monmouth complete, Tudur Aled has bewailed the fall made greater strides than any county of the last of them,within our islands. Material wealth and
Dead chief, the maiden loves prosperity brought greater independence
Thy grave's sod for thy sake." and new ideals. The new spirit first mani. The history of the Welsh people has begun. fested itself in a wild outburst of Chartisin, Deserted by their princes, led by no but it soon settled down into a slow and Luther or Calvin or Knox, too blind to see mighty movement, guided, at the same what was noble in the ideals of the Puritan time, by the revolutionary doctrine of the Revolution,-still they are people that have brotherhood of man, and by the intensely emerged out of darkness into light.
1.—THE FIRST EVENING WITH HENRY VAUGHAN.
Let us begin with Henry Vaughan the Silurist. You can easily procure the works of George Herbert, with which it will be interesting to compare some of Vaughan's poems given on these pages. You might profitably read the history of his time also, in S. R. Gardiner's little book-The Puritan Rerolution.
I select, to begin with, poems illustrating (1) the influence of the Great Civil War on literature. (2) the rise and growth of the feeling of delight in the wild beauty of nature. We hear echoes of the Great War in Vaughan, but the echoes are softer than in Milton. We see in Vaughan the delight in the beauty of nature which is so characteristic of the poetry of our own day, though far removed from the intensity it reaches in Wordsworth. It is worth remembering that the Usk is the first river to have its wild beauty described in English literature, and that Vaughan, in describing it, did much to awaken the muse of Wordsworth.
You will see from the following poems that Henry Vaughan was a strong Royalist, idealising the beheaded king, and referring to Oliver Cromwell as a tyrant. Still he has much of the earnestness of Puritanism. In him, more than in any other poet, we get the grace and beauty of the Cavalier, an'i the purity of the Roundhead.
But ah! my soul with too much stay
III. THE BRITISH CHURCH.
M Y soul, there is a country
M Afar beyond the stars,
All skilful in the wars.
Sweet peace sits, crowned with smiles, And One born in a manger
Commands the beauteous files. He is thy gracious friend
And (O my Soul awake !)
To die here for thy sake.
There grows the flower of peace,
Thy fortress, and thy ease. Leave then thy foolish ranges;
For none can thee secure, But One, who never changes,
Thy God, thy life, thy cure.
AH! he is fled !
n And while these here their mists and shadows
My glorious Head Doth on those hills of myrrh and incense watch.
Haste, haste, my dear!
The soldiers here
That seamless coat,
The Jews touched not,
O get thee wings !
And the day springs,
Write in thy books,
My ravished looks,
And haste thee so,
As a young roe
IV. THE WORLD.
II. THE RETREAT. HAPPY those early days, when I II Shined in my angel-infancy! Before I understood this place Appointed for my second race, Or taught my soul to fancy Øught al But a white, celestial thought; When yet I had not walked above A mile or two from my first love, And looking back, at that short space, Could see a glimpse of his bright face; When on some gilded cloud or flower My gazing soul would dwell an hour, And in those weaker glories spy Some shadows of eternity; Before I taught my tongue to wound My conscience with a sinful sound, Or had the black art to dispense A several sin to every sense, But felt through all this fleshly dress Bright shoots of everlastingness.
O how I long to travel back, And tread again that ancient track ! That I might once more reach that plain, Where first I left my glorious train; From whence the enlightened spirit sees That shady City of Palm trees.
I SAW eternity the other night,
All calm, as it was bright;
Driven by the spheres,
And all her train were hurled.
Did there complain;
Wit's sour delights;
Yet his dear treasure,
Upon a flower,
Lord, round me then with weeping clouds,
And let my mind
Which sinful ease made foul,
Both wash and wing my soul.
VI. THE EVENING-WATCH.
In several parts shall want a name,
He fills it; days and hours are blinds.
VII. THE RELAPSE.
The darksome statesman, hung with weights and
woe, Like a thick midnight fog, moved there so slow,
He did not stay, nor go;
Upon his soul,
Pursued him with one shout.
Worked under ground,
Were gnats and flies;
Drank them as free.
His own hands with the dust,
In fear of thieves.
And hugged each one his pelf;
And scorned pretence;
Said little less;
Who think them brave,
But most would use no wing.
Before true light!
Because it shews the way,
Leads up to God,
More bright than he!”
One whispered thus, -
But for his Bride.”
V. THE STORM.
Is not a sea,
Though red as he;
And boiling streams that rave
As doth the mountained wave.
Dark storms and wind
Else not inclined.
Uncalms these to a flood;
Breeds tempests in my blood.
MY God, how gracious art thou! I had slipped
Did hear them yell;
That saved my soul,
And heard them howl!
This hideous path,
Cease thou thy wrath!
Dark as my deeds,
Thy spirit feeds;
No shade but yew,
These are my due.
My scores did pay,
The brightest day;
[streams, Fresh, spicy mornings, and eternal beams,
Those are his due.
April 7th, 1894. Prime Minister, in opening the proceedYES ESTERDAY, on the sixth of April, ings of the first meeting of its Court, “will 1894, the governing body of the Uni- be a place in the main for poor students
. versity of Wales met for the first time. It will not be a place to which men of It was difficult to realise, as we sat in wealth will come and put the final polish the dingy Privy Council Chamber at on a leisurely course of education fastidiWhitehall
, that the hopes of so many years ously gone through, but it will be the were being amply fulfilled. It was diffi- place where the son of a peasant or ir cult to believe that Wales, so lately with- farmer or a mechanic may come and grasp, out any educational institution at all, was with a hard and even a horny hand, the now in possession of a University. Το weapons with which he means to carve my mind, the day was a prouder one
out his career.” A glance at the eighty than a day of victory. Our historian has members of the Court present would have no battle of Granson or battle of Ban been enough proof of Lord Rosebery's nockburn to describe, he can not show saying. With a few splendid exceptions, the fall of tyranny at the dissolution of they were the descendants of those peasa Union of Calmar, he can not dilate on ants who have made the life of Wales the crowning of a heroic struggle for
what it is to-day. liberty in a Treaty of Munster. But the sixth of April, 1894, was a day for us
We were still waiting for Lord Rosethat Switzerland, or Scotland, or Sweden, or
bery and Mr. Acland, when a Black and
White photographer came in. He placed his Holland might have placed side by side with their most glorious days.
camera in a corner and turned its eye upon us.
Must it be confessed that we, It was the day of the crowning triumph who had been sacrificing our time and of a struggle that is almost unique in the means in the interest of the generations to history of the world. It was the day of come, were instantaneously and unconthe establishing of a peasants' University. sciously acted upon by our ineradicable A people, without help from the educated Celtic vanity? Thinking about ourselves classes, suspected and distrusted by those was ridiculous at such a historic moment, who ought to have led them, rose out of when the glory of the future of our ignorance and superstition, created country was unfolding itself before us,system of education that is second to none still we straightened ourselves up and cast in the world, and demanded a University, a side glance at the lens. I sat behind two not as an ornament to please a short-lived mighty county councillors from Monmouthpatriotism, but as an institution necessary shire, and feared that faune was denied to the working of an enduring education me unless I stood on my feet, as al machinery. The new University has did. I shifted my chair however, and my been recognized by government as the
be seen peering over the University of the peasants of Wales. It shoulders of my big friends. The photocan almost be said that there was no class grapher took the cap. off at last. No proin Wales too ignorant to take an interest cess is instantaneous in that dim light, and in the work of the sixth of April. The we thought that the plate was being exUniversity is the glorious result of a posed for a quarter of an hour. I heard struggle carried on by the disinterested violent coughing during that time, and I labour of peasant leaders, it is the crown must have turned my head many times, of a system of education maintained by for I saw many people moving in different the hard-earned pence of the peasant directions. We
to have another farmer and labourer, it is the long expect chance. “Now,” said the photographer, as ed realisation of the dream of the peasant he exposed another plate, “quite still, poet. “This University,” said the Queen's please.